Guess Who’s (Still) Coming to Dinner?

You can’t contain her, you can’t slow her down, and you can’t help but love her and laugh with her.  She’s compassionately tough, and fiercely empathetic, and a bit like a walking Red Bull when it comes to serving others.  Nicole Ring-Collins wasn’t just the program manager of the Winter Warming Centers; she was the everyday fuel, fun, and salty resolve of the thing, and every guest, volunteer and visitor knew it.

That’s why our community nonprofit partners at Shores of Hope leapt at the opportunity to fund a 20-hour-a-week case worker position for Nicole during the WWCs’ ‘offseason.’  The collaborative position, finalized this week, will put Nicole in continuing relationship and service to the homeless guests with whom she’d built such a deep bond during the winter.

“Nicole is amazing, and she has the biggest heart,” said Nanette Fowler, executive director for Shores of Hope.  “She’s in it for the right reasons and she has so much respect for the people she serves. We are inspired to have her on our team and we’re excited to assist her and the Mercy Coalition continue their service to our community.”

Nicole will return as the WWC program manager next winter, while continuing to help the Coalition build more programming to serve the needy.   In the meantime, as a case worker she’ll continue to be out amidst the homeless community … counseling, assisting, connecting to services, and encouraging in her own inimitable style.

“Listen, everyone who meets this woman quickly understands that the community is more beautiful when she’s out in it,” said Coalition board chair Don Bosley.  “From the time we made the need known, it took Shores of Hope all of 40 minutes to find the funding to make it happen – because Nanette and the people at Shores have the same heart and the same recognition of a rare gifting in Nicole.  We couldn’t be more ecstatic.”

Shores of Hope, formerly the Broderick Christian Center, has been integral part of serving the needy in West Sacramento for many decades.   They’ve also been longtime partners of the Mercy Coalition, and it was their buses that transported guests back and forth throughout the 76-night run of the Winter Warming Centers.   To learn more about their work, visit shoresofhope.org.

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